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The Worldly Spirits


by Amun-dro, the Silent Priest

Nirni. The Green Mother. Spirit of Harmony. Though her spirit has diminished, Nirni can still be felt in the warm sands, dense jungles, and all places where mortals have not disturbed the earth. The Khajiit are her secret defenders, for her spirit seeds life on the Mortal Plane. This was Lorkhaj's gift to Nirni. Because she always tried to compete with Azurah for Fadomai's favor, she is sometimes called the Jealous Sister. Despite this, it is said she was the only spirit more beautiful than Azurah.

Y'ffer. The Elden Shaper. One of the Bastard Sons of Ahnurr. Unlike his father, he was wise and kind. He convinced Nirni to be his mate by creating the first flower, and they had many children. Y'ffer was corrupted by the Great Darkness sometime after the death of Lorkhaj. Consumed by chaos, Y'ffer struck Nirni, killing her. Azurah, Khenarthi, and Hircine destroyed him in vengeance and made a cairn for Nirni out of his bones. Some woodland folk say they can still hear his voice, but we Khajiit no longer speak of him.

Hircine. The Hunter. Spirit of Pursuit and Purposeful Change. Hircine was in love with Nirni, but she chose Y'ffer as her mate. In his sorrow, Hircine slew Y'ffer's champion, the Graht-Elk. Now he wears its head as a trophy. He is fond of Nirni's children and walks among them often. Khajiit should pray to Hircine when they have strayed from the Path, for the Father of the Hunt will always set them back upon it. Some tribes claim Hircine is the father of Nirni's first litter, who were as changeable as the Moons. They say these children were chosen as vessels for the ja-Kha'jay.

Hermorah. The Watcher. Spirit of the Tides. Hermorah records all the events he perceives and stores them away in a great library under the sea. A patient spirit, he helped Azurah maintain the Moons and their Motions after the world was made and Khenarthi could no longer bear to do so. He is the Keeper of the Knowledge of Others, and he shares all he learns with Azurah, who walks the halls of his library often. You should not call on this spirit unless you wish to be tested along the Path. It is best to leave Hermorah to his duty.

Sangiin. Blood God of the Second Litter. Sangiin is not an evil spirit by nature, but Khajiit must know that all things within his sphere turn True Cats from the Path. These are the urges of blood and pleasure without purpose. To fall to Sangiin is not to give in to the Dark, but to give in to the flesh. He tries to tempt Khajiit into making their flesh immortal, and this is a prison to all spirits of the ja-Kha'jay. Sangiin is therefore a spirit that will test you on the Path and must be overcome. The secret to defeating him is to ignore him, and this we learned from Mafala, who said: Lust for nothing but Truth.

The Spinners of Y'ffre


The Wood Elf priests of Jephre, or "Y'ffre," are known as spinners. They refer to Jephre as "the Storyteller" and believe he taught them how to live and behave through stories and metaphors.

As his priests, spinners emulate Y'ffre by preserving Bosmeri history, culture, and even laws through stories and metaphors. Elder spinners often speak entirely in metaphors, which makes them difficult to understand, even by other Bosmer. Some believe the spinners go insane as they age and this strange way of speech is merely a symptom of that madness.

Do not be deceived! Spinners have magical powers, or at least keen insights. They tell stories not only of the past, but of the future, and their oft-confusing tales speak of upcoming events with remarkable, though often baffling, accuracy.

One more note: despite the popular belief that spinners only move when carried, the priests of Y'ffre can walk on their own. While they seldom travel far from their homes, some do so when the need arises. It is likely that other Wood Elves, fearing the loss of their spinners, spread the rumor that they cannot travel on their own to discourage such risky expeditions.

Tales of the Spinners


— An Entry by the Altmeri Travel Guild —

Spinners in Bosmer society play a critical role. More than just a fantastical outlet or a source of catharsis, spinners perform a mystical, priestly function.

If Y'ffre created this world by telling a story, Bosmeri spinners weave new worlds out of their stories, sometimes crafting an illusion so complete that it seems real to the listeners, who are woven into the stories as characters.

Inside these magical stories, spinners can influence their listeners in profound ways, stirring them to empathize with strangers, hate enemies, or have compassion for the suffering.

Of course, spinners who can create complete illusions are rare and often eccentric sorts. Even so, the typical Bosmeri spinner is a storyteller of unmatched talent.

The Ooze: A Fable


This is a story the Wood Elves of Valenwood tell their children from a very young age.

Once, there was nothing but formlessness. The land held no shape, the trees did not harden into timber and bark, and the Elves themselves shifted from form to form. This formlessness was called the Ooze.

But Y'ffre took the Ooze and ordered it. First, she told of the Green, the forest and all the plant life in it. She gave the Green the power to shape itself as it willed, for it was her first tale.

The Elves were Y'ffre's second tale. As Y'ffre spun the story, the Elves took the form they have today. Y'ffre gave them the power to tell stories, but warned them against trying to shape themselves or the Green. Shifting and the destruction of the forest were forbidden.

Instead, Y'ffre commended the Wood Elves to the Green, so that they might ask the Green to provide them with shelter and a safe passage, and as long as they respected the Green, it would obey. This is called the Green Pact.

Finally, Y'ffre told of all the beasts that crawl on the land or swim in the rivers or fly in the air. These, Y'ffre gave to the Wood Elves as sustenance. They were to eat no plants but consume only meat. Y'ffre also told that no Wood Elf who is struck down by another Wood Elf should be allowed to sink into the ground, but should instead be consumed, like the beasts. This is called the Meat Mandate.

When the stories were told, Y'ffre saw that they had a pleasing shape, but some of the Ooze remained. Y'ffre told a final tale then, and gave purpose to the Ooze.

Any Wood Elf that violated the Green Pact, either by shifting or by damaging the Green, would be condemned to return to the formlessness of the Ooze. Their names would be scrubbed from the story Y'ffre is telling and replaced with silence.

The Wood Elves tell that those who are favored by the Green have the power to release the condemned from the Ooze, but where the condemned go and what form they take once they are released is unknown.

No one has ever seen the Ooze, or heard the souls trapped in it, or met the one who can relieve the condemned of their punishment. But if you ask a Wood Elf if he thinks the Ooze is "just a tale," he will invariably reply, "There is no such thing as 'just a tale.'"

The Eldest: A Pilgrim's Tale


In bright springtime, when the ground is drunk with rainwater and the sun smiles on Valenwood, the Wood Elves travel to the Den of the Eldest, an ancient strangler. There, they offer thanks to Y'ffre for the blooming of yet another spring, and they read the history of their home in the branches of the Eldest.

Then, a great festival is thrown by the Green Pact Bosmer, in celebration of the Springtime and the Eldest. Then Elves celebrate long into the night, drinking and regaling each other with stories of past festivals and pilgrims.

The tales run both sacred and profane.

There's the tale of the notorious warlord whose entire army stopped at the Den of the Eldest and went in to pay their respects. When they emerged, they dropped their weapons to the ground and left them where they lay. They never made war again.

But there is also the tale of the impish Wood Elf who spiked the pilgrims' punch with a powder ground from the dung of timber mammoths, that caused the entire gathering to be troubled by the most foul odors from their backsides. Long into the night they groaned as the stink grew unbearable, until they were all so inured to the smell that their groans turned to bursts of laughter that filled the wood.

They also tell of the first pilgrims, an old, childless couple who tended the Eldest as their own offspring. They became the first Silvenar and the first Green Lady.

There are many more tales the pilgrims tell, but few have been written down. The curious would do best to travel to the Eldest in the Springtime and hear the stories and behold the ancient strangler for themselves.

Bones of the Forest


Penitent, be one with the moment. Feel the solidity of the ground under your feet, and taste the wind. By his will is our world manifest, and the rocks, and the trees, and the birds in the sky. Y'ffre is with you at every turn, in every moment.
To complete your venerations here, intone: "In the Storyteller's name, I stand upon the bones of the world. I drink in the promise and power of nature's law, and breathe out my thanks."